Thursday, December 1, 2011

Infertile Mama

I still struggle in small ways everyday with being an infertile mama.  I keep thinking the two parts of me will somehow magically seperate themselves.  That I can be an infertile in the quiet moments when Bean is sleeping or calmly reading books.  That I won't have to face the reality of it all in the middle of the mama moments.  But that's a crazy idea because when you're infertile, you don't get to choose when you face it.  Instead you just get to deal with it when it's thrown in your face.  Today was one of those days.

I feel like once you become a mama, everyone else who has a child sees you as being in this new imaginary club.  The idea is that we all can talk about breast vs. forumla feeding, sleeping through the night, temper tantrums, potty training, and of course, having more babies.  At least that's what the world seems to think.  Personally, I was always taken aback when a complete stranger would ask me if I as breastfeeding or if Bean was sleeping through the night.  We don't ask such intimate questions about any other area of people's lives, but parenting and children seems like fair game to a lot of other parents.  Don't get me wrong, I like to talk to other moms, but I'd like to know you're name first!  And being part of this club, can be challenging in those moments like I encountered today.

Bean goes to a little gym class at a local place every week.  One of the moms there also takes her daughter to the library story hour that we go to so we started chatting on the first day.  We've become friendly and chat every week usually.  She's super nice and I'm totally hoping to gain a friend from this.  She's one of those people who is so nice that you can't imagine a mean thing ever coming out of her mouth.  So today we were chatting and all of the sudden she leans over and whispers, "By the way, I'm pregnant!"  And in slow motion, it was like picturing this sweet, kind woman whispering and motioning for me to come in so that she could sucker punch me in the stomach.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it totally knocked the wind out of me.  Mostly because I was just so unprepared.  Never had we talked about trying for more kids or any of that.  We had just finished having a conversation about toddler gas and all the sudden, bam, there it was.  So I plastered a smile on my face, congratulated her, and tried to find my feet.  Before I could even do it though, she says that her sister is pregnant too (her sister also goes to story hour).  And then it was like the world was going in slow motion.  I know words came out of my mouth and I know they were the socially appropriate words for that situation.  I was trying so hard to sound excited because she is such a kind person and I AM happy for her.  I just. wasn't. prepared.

And so I made it through this, while trying to watch Bean as she jumped on trampolines and climbed into ball pits.  I got through it without needing a moment of quiet to collect my thoughts.  When we got home, Bean had fallen asleep in the car so I carried her up to bed and sat down with my own thoughts for a few minutes.  I surfed the internet and of course, there was story upon story of some "celebrity" or another announcing their pregnancy.  I was feeling overwhelmed by this in a way that I haven't since Bean was born.  I could feel myself being dragged down.  Then Bean woke up and I went up to rock her for awhile.  And while I was rocking her, the tears came.  I was crying because I loved her so much, because I was so thankful for her, but also because I was sad.  Sad that not only might I never be pregnant again, but that if I am lucky enough to be, I'm never going to be confident enough to tell an acquaintance about it at Bean's gym class in the first trimester.  I won't be announcing it to a crowd at Thanksgiving.  It's just not my reality.

Once Bean woke up though, it was all a little easier.  I actually think there are some wonderful things about being an infertile mama and one of them is that I'm never alone with my thoughts long enough to get to the dark places that I did before Bean was born.  Not only that, but I also am kind of happy, in a certain way, that I understand the preciousness of an uncomplicated pregnancy, the seriousness of a pregnancy announcement, and the miracles that surround us everyday.  This isn't to say, in any way, that fertiles don't understand these things, it's just different.  My reality is changed because of infertility.  I cannot build my family in the way that other people can.  I cannot easily choose how many children I have.  I may never be pregnant again.  Those things are all true, and hard, but they're me, and I like me.  I like my life.  I love my family.  I wouldn't change it for a minute.

And so here I am, an infertile mama trying to navigate the world the best that I can.  Which has made me realize that I am indeed all in.  I need that group of infertile and adoptive mamas to support me and I'm willing to work to make it happen.  Not just for me, but for all of us out there.  We deserve to have a few moments in our life when we're surrounded by people who get it.  And who will never whisper and draw us in close to tell us something that could hurt so much.   


  1. Oh, dear, I am so sorry you had to go through that... But you did react wonderfully.
    I do hope you get your dream soon and Bean will have a sibling. You don't know how I wish I could just take this IF crap away from you. Or just magically breathe in your direction and have you join the urban legends, with a surprise pregnancy after IF.
    As for the mom group, it is a wonderful idea to spend time with people who just get it. I hope the others see it the same way too.

  2. Oh you're so sweet, thank you! I hope we're there soon. I was corresponding with my RE's office today and talking about ordering meds and things like that and it all seems real again, which I'm not quite ready for. Hopefully like you said though, we'll have our dream soon.

  3. I really wish you all the best for a sibling. I feel that before I got pregnant I had to face all sorts of these situations but at least with time people were more sensitive, now I'm due in a few weeks people ask me about sibling age gaps, gender envy and merrily announce their pregnancies but as a couple we're still IF and I feel like saying 'how can I be this lucky twice in one life time?'...thank you for writing this post...